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Physician Helps Lead Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis Network

School of Medicine


AURORA, Colo. – V. Michael Holers, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, leads one of the 11 research groups awarded grants this week by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish the Accelerating Medicine Partnership in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus Network.

A total of $6 million of first-year funding was awarded by the NIH to create the network, which is a public-private partnership developed by the NIH earlier this year to transform the current model  for identifying and validating the most promising biological targets for the development of new drugs and diagnostics.

The Holers laboratory and research group on the Anschutz Medical Campus focuses on the evolution of autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the early pathogenesis of this disease and the development of prevention strategies and targets.

RA and lupus are relatively common, severe autoimmune diseases. These disorders share similar flaws in immune function and regulation, leading to inflammation that damages tissues. RA and lupus can last a lifetime, cause severe disability, greatly affect quality of life, and are associated with increased risk of early death.

Over five years, the AMP RA/Lupus Network will analyze the interplay among biological pathways, including at the single cell level, in tissues of patients with RA and lupus. The goal is to integrate data from multiple genome-wide analytic approaches to generate a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of tissue damage in RA and lupus. 

The NIH announcement of the grants is available at